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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009 Sep;467(9):2436-45. doi: 10.1007/s11999-009-0939-y. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Predictors of success on the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery examination.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, White 542, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Predictors of success of orthopaedic residents on the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) examination are controversial. We therefore evaluated numerous variables that may suggest or predict candidate performance on the ABOS examination. We reviewed files of 161 residents (all graduates) from one residency program distributed into two study groups based on whether they passed or failed their first attempt on the ABOS Part I or Part II examination from 1991 through 2005. Predictors of success/failure on the ABOS I included the mean percentile score on the Orthopaedic In-Training Examination (OITE) (Years 2 through 4), the percentile OITE score in the last year of training, US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) score, Dean's letter, election to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), and number of honors in selected third-year clerkships. All but the USMLE score predicted passing the ABOS Part II examination. These data suggest there are objective predictors of residents' performance on the ABOS Part I and Part II examinations.

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